Thoughts On Amateur Radio Clubs
Listening to the UK hub this morning (Node 27066), a couple of OM’s were in QSO about clubs. They had some good thoughts about what was wrong with their local clubs and made comparison to some of our US clubs.
I found it interesting that their clubs seem to meet weekly. They tended to feel that many members just wanted to show up for a pint and little else. Their opinion seemed to be that the younger crowd might not be so interested in this. Like me, they felt that more activity would be good.
The concept of members getting together for a pint or two weekly is what I think would revitalize clubs here. Direct contradiction to their opinion for sure. I do have to agree that clubs should be engaged in more actual ham radio activity though. But please, for the love of all that is hops and barley, I hope they will continue to encourage the members who want to socialize over a pint or three. The social aspect of clubs is extremely important!
Too often our clubs here meet only to discuss business. It’s boring. The last meeting of a club that I attended was evenly divided between my presentation and discussion of 503c tax status. I can’t imagine what tax status of the club has to do with ham radio. Leave that for the board of directors. If they have to bother with it at all.
Any club, ham radio or otherwise, should be a gathering of people who like to do similar things. And those gatherings should be to discuss those things or partake in them.
Our informal group, affectionately known as the Not Ready For Prime Time Amateur Radio Club and Semi-Secret Society, meets often. In the fall, winter and spring we meet almost weekly to brew beer, homebrew ham radio stuff and even operate ham radio. Yes, we are sometimes over the legal limit for driving…BUT…there is absolutely no rule against operating ham radio. We operate responsibly. We have fun. There’s no charter, no bylaws, no tax status, no dues. We eat well, drink well, laugh and have fun. Our officers are elected on the fly for terms determined on the fly. The only official duty of the club president is to fetch beer for any member who needs one. Kraig, KE7MTF, often finds himself unanimously elected when he bothers to show up. Good times. We’ve accomplished more than any other club I am aware of in the region, including our last camping/field day event that generated publicity and fed folks some damn fine chili.